The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada have established the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) have established the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

For Tri-Agency research grants awarded after May 1, 2015, recipients must ensure that their peer-reviewed articles are freely available within twelve months of publication in an online repository (green OA) or on the publisher’s web site (gold OA). For CIHR recipients, certain types of data must be deposited in an appropriate public database.

Several other Canadian funders also have open access policies, including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, and the International Development Research Centre.

Internationally, funders in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia also have open access policies.

To verify whether your funding agency has an OA policy, consult the Sherpa/Juliet database of research funders' open access policies.

How to comply

Deposit a version of your article in an open repository

It is the responsibility of the grant recipient to determine which publishers allow authors to post the article online within 12 months. This can be determined by searching for the journal in the SHERPA/RoMEO database, which provides a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

To be eligible, the journal must, at minimum, allow the post-print (the final draft after peer-review, but before publisher formatting) to be archived within 12 months.

When your article is published, deposit the permitted version in uO Research. Step by step instructions on how to deposit are available on the uO Research site.

Include request for funding in grant application

The Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, Use of Grant Funds for Dissemination of Research Results allows for charges for articles published, including costs associated with ensuring open access to the findings (e.g., costs of publishing in an open access journal or making a journal article open access). Verify the journal website for the amount of the article processing charge in order to make an estimate to include in your budget.

Take advantage of the Library's financial support options

The library offers financial support for fully open access journals. Consult our website to learn more and to take advantage of these offers.


What is a post-print? It is the final draft of an article as accepted for publication by a journal. It includes modifications based on referees’ suggestions but does not have the final formatting.

Can I deposit the Pre-Print? No. This version is not peer-reviewed, so it does not satisfy the Tri-Agency policy obligations.

Can I deposit the final version? Sometimes. This will depend on the publisher’s policy, check Sherpa/Romeo which version is permitted.

What if my journal is not listed in Sherpa/Romeo? Check the journal website, or email the journal editor for more information.

What if my journal does not allow me to share my post-print? You can maintain certain rights when signing the journals copyright transfer agreement. Learn more about maintaining your rights as an author.

Data sharing requirements

According to the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy, CIHR grant holders are required to deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database immediately upon publication of research results. This is often already required by many journals.

Examples of data that should be deposited into public databases includes: genomic data, DNA sequences, protein structures, protein sequences, protein interaction data, nucleic acid structures, nucleic acid behaviors, factors and motifs, plasmids, atomic coordinates, and molecular interaction data.

Research data sets that do not have to be archived include: personal or sensitive data, administrative, clinical, and longitudinal data. Data that can be archived is biomedical data that is typically archived in a public database.

CIHR provides examples of research outputs and the corresponding publicly accessible repository or database on their website

NSERC and SSHRC grant recipients are not required to make their data openly accessible or archived at this time, however, the Agencies encourage researchers and trainees to make their research data available as a best practice and to increase the dissemination of research findings.

Note: SSHRC has a Research Data Archiving Policy to facilitate making data that has been collected with the support of SSHRC funds available to other researchers. The Agencies are currently reviewing trends and policies of other funding agencies and closely monitoring the numerous conversations about research data management happening in Canada and globally.

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